, , , , , , , , , ,

From Eric Margoils’ Wars Sending US Into Ruin, at Common Dreams:

“More empires have fallen because of reckless finances than invasion.”

Speaking of empires:

“There are 750 U.S. military bases in 50 nations and 255,000 service members stationed abroad, 116,000 in Europe, nearly 100,000 in Japan and South Korea.

The Pentagon now accounts for half of total world military spending…China and Russia combined spend only a paltry 10% of what the U.S. spends on defense.”

And now for the reckless finances:

“Obama’s total military budget is nearly $1 trillion. This includes Pentagon spending of $880 billion. Add secret black programs (about $70 billion); military aid to foreign nations like Egypt, Israel and Pakistan; 225,000 military “contractors” (mercenaries and workers); and veterans’ costs. Add $75 billion…for 16 intelligence agencies with 200,000 employees.

Like Bush, Obama is paying for America’s wars through supplemental authorizations — putting them on the nation’s already maxed-out credit card. Future generations will be stuck with the bill.

The Afghanistan and Iraq wars ($1 trillion so far), will cost $200-250 billion more this year, including hidden and indirect expenses. Obama’s Afghan “surge” of 30,000 new troops will cost an additional $33 billion – more than Germany’s total defense budget.

Military spending gobbles up 19% of federal spending and at least 44% of tax revenues. During the Bush administration, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars – funded by borrowing – cost each American family more than $25,000.

Margolis concludes:

“Increasing numbers of Americans are rightly outraged and fearful of runaway deficits. Most do not understand their political leaders are also spending their nation into ruin through unnecessary foreign wars and a vainglorious attempt to control much of the globe – what neocons call “full spectrum dominance.”

“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes … known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” James Madison—1795.